Journal article

Femtosecond Dynamics of Momentum-Dependent Magnetic Excitations from Resonant Inelastic X-Ray Scattering in CaCu2O3

Taking spinon excitations in the quantum antiferromagnet CaCu2O3 as an example, we demonstrate that femtosecond dynamics of magnetic electronic excitations can be probed by direct resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS). To this end, we isolate the contributions of single and double spin-flip excitations in experimental RIXS spectra, identify the physical mechanisms that cause them, and determine their respective time scales. By comparing theory and experiment, we find that double spin flips need a finite amount of time to be generated, rendering them sensitive to the core-hole lifetime, whereas single spin flips are, to a very good approximation, independent of it. This shows that RIXS can grant access to time-domain dynamics of excitations and illustrates how RIXS experiments can distinguish between excitations in correlated electron systems based on their different time dependence. © 2014 American Physical Society.


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